Jimmy Reese, Maryville College assistant baseball coach, will begin his 14th season coaching the Scots with a new award in his trophy case: the 2019 Jim Painter Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Jim Painter Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a person’s contributions to baseball over the whole of a career rather than a single contribution. The award honors an individual who enhances baseball’s positive image with integrity, dignity and sportsmanship both on and off the diamond.
“It is such an honor. There are a lot of people out there who are coaching and doing things the right way,” Reese said. “Just knowing that there were some folks who were willing to take the time to nominate me is a big deal.”
Jimmy Reese poses with the 2019 Jim Painter Lifetime Achievement Award.
Picture courtesy of Grant Agnew.
Reese’s passionate, loving and energetic personality has made him a reliable presence for the Scots baseball program for many years. Reese, a New Jersey native, graduated from Maryville College in 1981.
Reese was a four-year starter at shortstop for the orange and garnet. The leadoff hitter finished his career with a .310-.320 batting average. He was named team MVP and team captain during his senior campaign.
The players and coaches all describe “Coach Pokey” as someone who never has a bad day. Reese is known for bringing great zeal and energy to every meeting, practice, workout and game. His infectious personality rubs off on everyone who comes in contact with him.
“The baseball field is like a sanctuary to me,” Reese said. “It’s a place where I can go where the distractions of life don’t matter so much, and I can just focus on what I’m doing.”
Players are not the only ones who find motivation and guidance from Reese. He was very influential in Clint Helton’s transition into his first year as head coach of the Scots. He constantly keeps Helton in check and holds him accountable. His voice and perspective hold a heavy weight when it comes to Helton’s decision making within the program.
“He’s always putting other people in front of him,” Helton said. “He’s a servant leader. He’s an example. He’s the definition of servant leadership.”
The perspective on life that Reese is able to offer the team is uplifting. He is a big believer that life is more than a baseball game. Life is about enjoying every day and building relationships. Developing men who will become good students, fathers, husbands and employees is Reese’s top priority.
“The stories he tells are the best thing you’ve ever listened to, and the advice and reassurance he gives goes a long way,” said senior Hayden Hollingsworth. “Pokey [Reese] has impacted me to give my all for Maryville College baseball, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have a coach like that in my life.”
The Jim Painter Lifetime Achievement Award is only given to one individual. However, Reese attributes the award to the program and people around him.
“Winning this is quite the honor,” Reese said. “But this award represents how we as a team approach the game.”
The Scots play hard and keep up their spirits for the entirety of their time on and off the field. At the end of a game, they shake the hands of opponents and thank the officials. “Coach Pokey” is the catalyst behind this style of play. He is someone players and faculty can rely on. He is the heart and soul of Maryville College baseball.